By Rochelle Williams
KINGSTON, Jamaica, (JIS) – The government of Jamaica has signed two bilateral Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Rwanda to formalise joint activities and lay the groundwork for deeper engagement between the countries.
The agreements were signed during a meeting between prime minister Andrew Holness and Rwandan president, His Excellency Paul Kagame on Friday, April 15 at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM).
An MoU was signed on political consultations which creates a formal structure for bilateral discussions and explores the potential for future collaboration.
The other MoU was for tourism development and promotion which will enable the countries to share best practices and experiences. It will also facilitate cooperation in related areas of mutual benefit.
Discussions were also held on critical areas of interest for cooperation. These include investments in agriculture, special economic zones, manufacturing and logistics with additional commitment to further explore collaboration in culture, health, youth engagement, energy and digital technology.
In his statement following the discussions, prime minister Holness noted the MoUs perfectly complement the air services agreement signed in December 2018, to enhance the possibility of people-to-people connections and increased trade and investment.
President Kagame in his statement said this is an opportune time for the countries to deepen their relationship.
With respect to the signed agreement on tourism, he said this cooperation is significant as the sector contributes heavily to the economies of both countries.
The Rwandan president said also that the countries should take note of best practices in their respective efforts to recover from the COVID -19 pandemic.
Highlighting their countries’ membership in key international organisations such as the Commonwealth and the Organization of African Caribbean Pacific States
(OACPS), President Kagame intimated that collaboration in the advocacy of policies in international bodies will be advantageous to both countries.
On the issue of CARICOM-Africa relations, prime minister Holness said this also provides opportunities for greater collaboration.
“We can leverage these platforms for mutual benefit. When the will to act together is strong even distance cannot separate us or slow us down,” he said.